11

I use Parmesan rind in my sauces and soups – it adds a wonderful depth. My problem, particularly with the chunky tomato sauce I like to make, is removing the rind before serving.

The rind doesn't disintegrate – sometimes it holds its' shape and is easy to pick out but often it breaks up into blobs which makes finding and fishing out the pieces a challenge. A chewy rind remnant is not a pleasant discovery!

Is there any simple trick or technique for removing all the rind?

3
  • 4
    I enjoy the parm cooked rind, and would be pleased to discover it in my dish! If you don't, thought, and can't fish it out with a stir and a spoon, I think @Ecnerwal has the correct response.
    – moscafj
    Jan 4 at 16:13
  • 6
    FWIW, I've found that if I use an actual rind, as in the real outer part of parmigiano reggiano, it never dissolves, it's too hard. It's only when I use American parm with its lightweight rind. So you can decide how to handle the rind based on what kind of rind it is.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 4 at 19:02
  • Just rest it on a slotted or holed spoon. Also, as FC says, actual rind won't mush.
    – Fattie
    Jan 7 at 20:11

3 Answers 3

24

The old "tie it in cheesecloth" trick seems the most likely solution for the described problem.

The remnants will stay in the bag, and you remove the bag as a whole when ready to serve.

2
  • Thanks – I've seen the cheesecloth trick mentioned before for spices and chunk garlic – I need to figure out where I can buy some.
    – spring
    Jan 5 at 13:37
  • My nearest grocery store claims to carry two kinds in stock.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 5 at 13:39
6

There comes a point where a rind has given all it's going to flavor-wise, and starts to break down and add elements to your soup you don't want. The trick is to keep an eye on it and remove it when it starts to get soft, but not too soft to fish out. Once it gets to that point you won't get any more good out of it. How long that takes depends on the size and variety of the cheese it came from, it could take 30 minutes, or three hours.

3

This is a little off the beaten track, but it may be useful in some cases.

Boil the rind in water, and then reduce.

This is the way to make (very expensive) liquid parmesan. You grate a load of parmesan, boil it in water, and then sieve out the cheese matter. What you are left with is a mixture of water and parmesan-flavored oil, from which you can remove most of the water by gently boiling it off.

This is probably where most of the benefit of adding the rind comes from. There isn't much solid cheese matter on it, but a lot of flavor and oil. This means that an alternative approach is to separately boil the rind in water (just enough to submerge it) and then to boil most of the water off, and add the remainder to the sauce.

It's a bit more involved than just dumping the rind in the sauce directly, but it has some benefits:

  • You can boil the rind until long after it breaks up, extracting as much flavor as possible. All you need to do is sieve it out afterwards.
  • You can store the resulting liquid to directly add to sauces. Save up your parmesan rinds for a while, make one batch of parmesan liquid, and then store this in the fridge so you can add a bit of it to every sauce you make.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.